By BARBARA GASH
KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS
With a chill in the air these days, cozy up to some knit and crochet projects.
A recent newsletter from City Knits, a great yarn shop in Detroit, listed "10 reasons to knit and crochet for others."
Here are just a few that amused me:
UScarves nearly always fit and are generally more welcome than fruitcakes.
UYour gift dollars work twice as hard--you get to enjoy the process, and your loved one gets to enjoy the product.
UStitching with friends is more fun than fighting mobs at the mall.
UFailing to finish allows for creative presentations and guaranteed holiday humor!
Visit City Knits on the Web at www.cityknits.com.
What's hot this season?
"Ponchos and scarves are very in," says Margaret Campbell of Hampton Mills, a new shop in Birmingham, Mich. "But I do have several customers who are making sweaters, hats and mittens to keep their loved ones warm and beautiful. These hand-made things are usually very cherished!"
Purses are fun to do, too. They're welcomed by young and old, and you'll find patterns in books and online. Yarn choices are better than ever now, with happy colors and interesting textures making a statement of their own. If time is limited, big needles will make quick work of many projects.
New books can inspire, too. Ask for them at your favorite yarn shop:
UFor beginners, try "Ready Set Crochet " or "Ready Set Knit " from Creative Publishing International ( $19.95 each).
U"Hip to Crochet: 23 Contemporary Projects for Today's Crocheters " by Judith Schwarz (Interweave Press, $19.95) starts with the basics and progresses to more advanced work.
U"Vogue Knitting Accessorize " (Sixth & amp; Spring Books, $24.95) is a collection of 60 stylish small items for all skill levels.